Historic Preservation Certificate

With Plymouth State’s historic preservation graduate certificate you will gain strong organizational, practical, and administrative skills to position you for a career in historic preservation, heritage tourism, or heritage resource management. If you already work in a community preservation organization or government agency, you will discover how to incorporate stewardship and leadership into the strategic plan.

At Plymouth State, you can take up to 12 credits before being admitted—so, you don’t need to apply in order to complete the Historic Preservation certificate, however there are minimum requirements that must be met in order for your certificate to be awarded.

  • Required Courses – 6-7 credits
  • 3
    This course provides a foundation to historic preservation. The course will focus on principles and theories pertaining to preservation and restoration practices; recognition of architectural periods, styles, and construction methods in context of the evolution of cultural landscapes; the definition of significance and integrity in buildings and districts; strategies by which buildings and their settings have been preserved and used; and methods of reading and interpreting the cultural environment.
  • – OR –
  • 3
    Heritage Studies Foundations is designed for those interested in bringing heritage studies to areas such as schools, museums, and historical societies. Relevant concepts and techniques used in history, geography, English, anthropology, and sociology will be presented so participants may create models for class exercises, build museum exhibits, and incorporate heritage studies methodology into their work. Participants will learn methods of social science interpretation and inference about historical events, structures, artifacts, settlement patterns, and various ideologies of the past. Multi-disciplinary techniques will be used in interpretations of nearby history and in the development of materials that may be used in educating the general public and students in the classroom.
  • 3
    This course uses the rural countryside as a laboratory to examine the cultural landscape. It will trace the impact of natural, cultural, economic, and technological forces on the "built" environment. The course studies the evolution of buildings and their settings, with emphasis on settlement and rural industrialization. Subjects to be discussed include the evolution of architectural styles and construction techniques, town planning and land division, the evolution of transportation, and the harnessing of water power. Although the course will use specific locales as examples, it is intended to instill general principles by which any human landscape can be examined and interpreted in relationship to natural resources and human culture.
  • – OR –
  • 4
    This purpose of this course is twofold: to introduce students to a variety of locations and historic sites throughout New England; and to allow students to analyze the historical significance of each site and use the knowledge gained to produce papers and projects useful to the student's career while furthering their research and writing skills. Many historical sites are within easy travel distance and convey the nature of change since the earliest settlement in the region. This will allow students the opportunity to explore and interpret the layered historical landscape.
  • Elective Component (Choose two) – 6 credits
  • 3
    This course traces the evolution of architecture in the British colonies and the United States from settlement to the late twentieth century. The course identifies the major styles and their broad and detailed attributes; changes in technology that had an influence on American buildings and their function; influential theorists and designers. The course will identify major monuments in American architecture but will concentrate on examples that might be encountered in fieldwork and will address vernacular building types.
  • 3
    This course is intended to provide an introduction to the field of historic preservation and to instill basic skills in researching and understanding historic structures, especially buildings and bridges. It will provide instruction in assessing the evolution and condition of structures and in recording them by written, graphic, and photographic methods. The course will also emphasize traditional methods and materials of construction, the behavior of structural components over time, and techniques of determining the original condition and subsequent changes of historic structures.
  • 3
    This course identifies the traditional materials of architectural and engineering construction and their methods of manufacture and use. The course outlines the tools and techniques employed in construction from the seventeenth through the late twentieth centuries, and demonstrates how to recognize and describe the materials and techniques that were employed in existing structures. The course employs field study supervised by the instructor.
  • 3
    Once ignored in civic and urban planning, historic preservation is now seen as integral to the definition and protection of the cultural landscape. Historic preservation planning and cultural resource management (CRM) are accomplished through the identification, evaluation, documentation, registration, treatment, and ongoing stewardship of historic properties. This course examines the processes of preservation planning and management that have been established by the National Park Service of the United States and by comparable agencies in other countries, and illustrates the application of these standards at the federal, state and local levels.
  • 3
    This course examines the international, national, and state legal frameworks for the protection and movement of cultural property. Archaeological site looting, transnational antiquities trafficking, and armed conflicts threaten global cultural heritage. The international and American governments' responses to such threats have resulted in the development of major treaties as well as the enforcement of criminal laws and customs regulations. Topics for discussion include the 1954 Hague Convention, the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the ICOM Code of Ethics, the National Stolen Property Act, and the Cultural Property Implementation Act. The course also introduces students to important national heritage laws such as the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the rules governing shipwrecks. State statutes and the common law regulating cultural property are also reviewed.
  • 3
    Students will be exposed to archaeological field and laboratory techniques, and will learn the types of research questions that archaeologists ask while reconstructing past cultures. The course will draw upon prehistoric and historic examples, there will be many opportunities to handle artifacts in the classroom, and both terrestrial and underwater sites will be featured. There will be a minimum of two required field trips to archaeological sites and to demonstrate equipment and techniques in the field. A significant part of the course will be devoted to demonstrating that archaeology is a preservation-oriented field, focused not just upon learning about the past but geared toward protecting and conserving the physical remains of the past for future generations to enjoy.
  • 3
    What is the connection between preservation and sustainability? This course examines the role of preservation in the reassessment of the built environment to create a sustainable future. Topics to be addressed range from historic examples of sustainable cultural practices to current trends of smart growth planning, LEED standards and energy conservation in historic buildings.
  • Total for Historic Preservation Certificate – 12 credits

Did you know that you can apply your Historic Preservation certificate credits toward your MA?

By completing additional graduate courses, you can roll your Historic Preservation certificate courses into a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

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